Ghosts and Christianity

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Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 04:14 am
If we are christians we believe in an eternal soul that can depart the body to go to the next life. If we accept that then it seems just as logical that a soul might depart the body, but not move on to the next life. I don't know the statistics on this, but I'm willing to bet that a hefty chunk of Christians don't believe in ghosts, right along with those who don't believe in the virgin birth, or even miracles. Not that I want to discuss the last two at this time, but it does highlight a vein of hypocricy in many Christians- to simply believe in those parts of Christianity you find accecptable, without taking those beliefs to their logical extreme.
So starting on the hypothetical premise that we have a soul- are there ghosts?
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 06:19 am
@avatar6v7,
If you are prepared to believe its possible to have a soul without the necessity to believe in god , yes i would think it possible. As i have never had a personal experience of a ghost, i can safely say was a ghost, its hypothetical.Is there anyone who believes in ghosts but not the soul, is a more interesting question.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:15 am
@xris,
Interesting question...

Yea, I think it more likely that if one believes in the 'soul' as a separate entity, that it'd be more likely that person would believe in ghosts.

For one that believes in 'ghosts', it's also more likely they'd believe in a soul as well.

Given the vast diversity of such belief systems, I'm not sure what implications or relevance (past the nice conversation here) such postulates might have.

Thanks
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:42 am
@Khethil,
We conceive of ourselves spiritually because we can coneive of ourselves... All our conceptions, our forms, and our ideas are as spirits to the reality they represent...Does that mean they exist beyond our own lives??? I don't count on it... I do good because life is eternal, and not because I am immortal...
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:47 am
@Khethil,
i read a book once on the appearances of ghost and the relevance of the presence of running water a bit like how dowsers see the water ,the water can reflect the image..It also talked of future ghosts appearances where future events can be seen.It was more like the capturing of events past and future in type of natural recording. It did not convince me but it did give me an alternative possible reason for ghosts.The ghost stories are numerous but are they to be believed is the key question.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 08:00 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
We conceive of ourselves spiritually because we can coneive of ourselves... All our conceptions, our forms, and our ideas are as spirits to the reality they represent...Does that mean they exist beyond our own lives??? I don't count on it... I do good because life is eternal, and not because I am immortal...


This is a good way of looking at it; a differing perspective on perhaps spirituality itself. And since perspective defines' one's reality, it's not so far fetched an ideal.

Thanks
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 08:07 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
We conceive of ourselves spiritually because we can coneive of ourselves... All our conceptions, our forms, and our ideas are as spirits to the reality they represent...Does that mean they exist beyond our own lives??? I don't count on it... I do good because life is eternal, and not because I am immortal...
I dont think those who see them are looking at their own spirituality and i dont think those who might conceive of a soul are doing good for some reward in heaven.
 
Welshie
 
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 08:21 am
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
If we are christians we believe in an eternal soul that can depart the body to go to the next life. If we accept that then it seems just as logical that a soul might depart the body, but not move on to the next life. I don't know the statistics on this, but I'm willing to bet that a hefty chunk of Christians don't believe in ghosts, right along with those who don't believe in the virgin birth, or even miracles. Not that I want to discuss the last two at this time, but it does highlight a vein of hypocricy in many Christians- to simply believe in those parts of Christianity you find accecptable, without taking those beliefs to their logical extreme.
So starting on the hypothetical premise that we have a soul- are there ghosts?


As far as I know, Christianity doesn't actually teach that the soul/mind (assuming they are the same; which i believe and i think the ancients believed) is eternal or immortal... this idea was born out of Greek philosophy, largely absorbed into Christianity by the early Church. In Christianity there is the logical possibility that the soul could disappear, but it is by the Will of God that a new body is constructed for it so it can continue life forever.

However, I do consider myself Christian and I also believe that the Soul is eternal. I also believe in ghosts (not with 100% certainty, but I'm pretty open minded). It's logically possible that a Soul/Mind could exist somewhere without a physical body (if the body died), and perhaps still manipulate the physical world somehow, thus being a ghost.

It's not logically certain, though. It is possible; but it's also possible that this never happens and at death, the eternal mind always is transported to some other plane of existence, never to see this world again.

I do agree that a lot of Christians are silly with their thinking. They believe in God and life after death, and the Biblical Miracles, but beyond this they adopt the standpoint of scientific materialism, and from then on only accept things that the Materialists accept. This includes the unreasonable assumption that ghosts and the paranormal certainly cannot exist.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 08:59 am
@avatar6v7,
The belief in ghosts generally grows out of culture and family. If an individual grows up in a culture that has a belief in ghosts, and their family believes in ghosts, then they are highly likely to believe in ghosts as well. Remember early Christianity was very syncretic that is, it was often blended with the folk beliefs of the people it spread to. Thus, the forms of Christianity that grew out of combining it and a belief system that believed in ghosts are more likely to have followers that believe in ghosts.

That kind of also answers the concern of the OP about the possible hypocrisy of Christians picking and choosing their beliefs. Their are many different flavors of Christianity. The versions that people follow are typically those of their culture and family.
 
Leonard
 
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2009 05:24 pm
@avatar6v7,
True christians believe in the things they do simply because they agree. The type of christians referred to in the OP aren't non-christians, but they aren't real christians simply because they were brainwashed into believing it (brainwashed because they wouldn't believe it otherwise). A consistent churchgoer does not a christian make. They go to church one day just to defile someone or commit a sin the next day. It takes more than parental following or ancestral following to make a christian. Regarding ghosts, many christians may not believe in ghosts because they rely on the belief that Hell, Heaven, and Purgatory exist in different planes of existence. Simply put, it would be shocking to them that a soul could be tethered to earth without a body.
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2009 05:53 pm
@avatar6v7,
There's a pretty easy way to get out of this; you just say that a 'soul' requires a physical vessel to interact with the physical world. Poof--no such thing as ghosts!
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2009 05:56 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;47233 wrote:
The belief in ghosts generally grows out of culture and family. If an individual grows up in a culture that has a belief in ghosts, and their family believes in ghosts, then they are highly likely to believe in ghosts as well. Remember early Christianity was very syncretic that is, it was often blended with the folk beliefs of the people it spread to. Thus, the forms of Christianity that grew out of combining it and a belief system that believed in ghosts are more likely to have followers that believe in ghosts.

That kind of also answers the concern of the OP about the possible hypocrisy of Christians picking and choosing their beliefs. Their are many different flavors of Christianity. The versions that people follow are typically those of their culture and family.

Non sense... We conceive of ourselves spiritually and always have from all evidence, and because of that we have conceived of all things at one time or another spiritually...Only in later days have we more conceived of reality materially, and physically...And still we have no answer for our being other than as spirit...Having no explanation for our beginning we cannot imagine our end...
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 10 Sep, 2009 06:16 pm
@Fido,
Fido;89492 wrote:
Having no explanation for our beginning we cannot imagine our end...


I beg to differ on this statement. I know my beginning. It was coming out of the void, from nothingness, from non-existence. It is this same void that I will return when this body ceases to function. I will no longer exist other than by the means of my impressions but even those impressions are temporary.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 05:30 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;89494 wrote:
I beg to differ on this statement. I know my beginning. It was coming out of the void, from nothingness, from non-existence. It is this same void that I will return when this body ceases to function. I will no longer exist other than by the means of my impressions but even those impressions are temporary.

You know nothing, and believe everything...I have been reading a book written in 1022 that is falling to pieces in my hands...It was withdrawn from the MSU Library and I bought it in spite of the fact that the whole first chapters are broken a half an inch from their bindings...Yet, it is clear from this book: After Life in Roman Paganism; that we share many thoughts on the subject with them, even some with the pythagoreans who were more concerned with the after life than the one they held, and in fact with many peoples from many places, at one time or another..

What do we know??? We need certainty in our lives, and when we say we know we say far more about ourselves than about objective reality.....
 
Justin
 
Reply Fri 11 Sep, 2009 06:47 am
@avatar6v7,
Definitely and interesting discussion and for all intensive purposes, this discussion seems to be open minded and respectful which I thank you all for contributing.

Now ghosts... I was raised Christian and I was taught not to believe in ghosts. However I was taught that there is spiritual warfare taking place all around us of good and evil, in which I don't believe at all. So ghosts are something we didn't believe but spirits battling it out is something we were taught to believe.

Now, later in life with better understanding I think ghosts are very real but let me explain.

I think that the human mind has godlike limitations,.... meaning no limit. So if someone actually carries a belief strong enough, unknowingly they can create a representing physical counterpart. Whether that be a manifestation of a ghost or the healing of a persons leg or the moving of a mountain. So ghosts, could be something that we actually manifest without really realizing it. Much in the same sense as our physical conditions of our body that we can create and manipulate with our thought process.

So, I don't think it's out of the question that we actually create the energy of what we call ghosts and we can further make them good or evil with our thoughts. Now maybe a ghost is an impression left by another as well. We do have subtle energies surrounding the body and our impressions are left all over the place. When we lay down somewhere, it's possible to identify the subtle energy left behind or the impression. Our thoughts also go forth from us and leave impressions as well.

Basically, I believe that the mind of man can move mountains. Turn stone into water. Part a sea of heal the sick. So manifestation of ghosts is not out of the question. Personally, I've never seen a ghost. I did one time on Beaver Island in the clock tower, hear and feel the presence of a ghost like impression but we we're children at the time and expected to see a ghost because everyone knows that light house is haunted by ghosts. Is it... Probably not but there were about 20 of us up there and we all heard the ghost and could feel the ghost but not see it. It was creepy at the time but it very well could have been a physical manifestation of energy according to our will and anticipation.

On thing we could also consider... We all could be ghosts. Seriously. We could be ghost impressions carrying on a life once lived and we don't even know we are ghosts. Another word could be spirits.
 
 

 
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